Imagine a time when you only saw a car once every two or three days. That is one of the memories of Rona Story, who turned 100 on February 10 at the Teviot Valley Rest Home, in Roxburgh.
Mrs Story (nee Woodhead) originally from Temuka, met her husband, Pat, while they worked at the National Electric and Engineering Company, later renamed Temuka Pottery.
One of her jobs was fettling — smoothing the rough edges off pots, cups and the like.
The company also made more utilitarian items, and her husband worked creating large porcelain insulators for power poles.
Mrs Story’s childhood was spent with her three sisters on her parents’ farm, and without any brothers she and her sisters got stuck in, milking cows and operating farm machinery.
Walking to school as a child ‘‘was three and a-half miles’’, and on the way she and her sisters would join about eight to 10 other children also walking to school.
Thinking of what had changed over her lifetime, Mrs Story talked about cars appearing on the roads.
‘‘The biggest thing was the motorcar — when we were walking to school, at first when we heard a noise like a motorcar we would watch out for it to see it go past, because it [would be] the only car we might see for two or three days.’’
Celebrating her centenary with her daughters, twins Angela Compton, of Roxburgh, and Annette Story, of Alexandra, as well as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, at the Teviot Valley Rest Home in Roxburgh, Mrs Story said she did not think she would get to 100, but had enjoyed a good life.